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From a mining mindset to regional discovery: a case study for hematite iron ore exploration in Mauritania

Bert De Waele
Thursday, September 5, 2019
First presented: 
AEGC 2019
Published paper

There has been extensive mining for hematite mineralisation in Mauritania since the 1950s, focused on the Kediat Ijil and Mhaoudat regions in northern Mauritania. These discoveries were largely made during the colonial period, with only limited additional discoveries in more recent years.

In an effort to allow the discovery of additional hematite mineralisation in the district, the Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM) has obtained regional airborne VTEM and magnetic data and has tested a variety of ground-based geophysical methods on and near existing mineralisation.

A re-interpretation of these datasets alongside structural mapping on the ground has allowed the development of a series of conceptual models for targeting high-grade hematite mineralisation, and the development of suitable exploration strategies to locate the next generation of prospective hematite iron ore mines to develop into the future.

Feature Author

Bert De Waele

Bert De Waele has over 23 years of structural mapping experience, mostly in African Precambrian terranes. In addition, he has consulted on base metal and gold prospects, setting up and running exploration programmes or interpreting regional geochemical data. With SRK, Bert has also conducted Independent Technical Assessments on various mineral assets including gold, porphyry copper, iron ore, manganese, diamond, mineral sands, phosphate, evaporite and uranium. His research interests focus on regional geology and tectonics, by integrating field and laboratory work, including U-Pb microprobe geochronology, isotope (147Sm-144Nd and 87Rb-86Sr) and whole-rock geochemistry and Geographic Information Systems. Bert has a strong commitment to transfer of knowledge, holding an Adjunct Research posting at The University of Western Australia. Bert has taught structural geology, computing in geoscience (GIS - Remote Sensing and DPA (Geosoft)) and supervised field classes, mapping projects and theses (BSc, MSc and PhD) both in French-speaking and English-speaking environments.

Principal Consultant (Geology)
PhD (Geology), RP Geo (Regional Geology, Mineral Exploration)
SRK Perth
SRK Africa